NZ Herald/NZPA: GE plants promoted as ‘cisgenic’

New Zealand scientists are preparing to begin applications for the use of ‘cisgenic’ pasturage – clover and ryegrass which has been genetically modified, but without using genes from other species.

It is hoped that the fact that the plants contain no genes from other species will make the the meat and milk from cows fed on them more acceptable to some consumers.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Science academy, the Royal Society, today released an “emerging issues” discussion paper on GE forage plants, noting that it “has no intentions whatsoever of influencing ultimate decisions on use or not”, according to Stephen Goldson, the society’s vice-president of biological and life sciences.

“There was growing competition from low-cost producers overseas, and issues over greenhouse gas emissions form livestock farms, a need to adapt to climate change and increasing concerns about the welfare of pasture-fed animals.

“”Irrespective of ‘how’, something has to be done if NZ is to maintain leadership in pastoral industries,” he said in notes prepared for the release of the discussion paper.”

“The nation would be in “a bad way” if that competitive edge in livestock industries was lost.”